Typical of the culture wars

NPR on critical race theory:

“Folks, we’re in a cultural warfare today,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said at a news conference alongside six other members of the all-Republican House Freedom Caucus. “Critical race theory asserts that people with white skin are inherently racist, not because of their actions, words or what they actually believe in their heart — but by virtue of the color of their skin.”

No, it doesn’t. That’s not what it is. That’s not what it is. I’m not saying there’s no one who thinks that or says that, I’m saying it’s not what Critical Race Theory is.

Andrew Hartman, a history professor at Illinois State University, described the battle over critical race theory as typical of the culture wars, where “the issue itself is not always the thing driving the controversy.”

“I’m not really sure that the conservatives right now know what it is or know its history,” said Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars.

He said critical race theory posits that racism is endemic to American society through history and that, consequently, Americans have to think about institutions like the justice system or schools through the perspective of race and racism.

It’s so tempting to say “duhhhhhh” like a child. Of course the justice system and the schools are not untouched by endemic racism, how could they be?

However, he said, “conservatives, since the 1960s, have increasingly defined American society as a colorblind society, in the sense that maybe there were some problems in the past but American society corrected itself and now we have these laws and institutions that are meritocratic and anybody, regardless of race, can achieve the American dream.”

Which is unthinking, uninformed, naïve, unreasonable.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has introduced the Combating Racist Training in the Military Act, a bill that would prohibit the armed forces and academics at the Defense Department from promoting “anti-American and racist theories,” which, according to the bill’s text, includes critical race theory.

So, anything that doesn’t stop at the I have a dream speech and the instant move to total meritocracy and color-blindness. Brilliant.

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